• Currently, daily medication is the treatment for HIV.
  • Potent combinations of three or more medications are used to treat HIV. Most patients are managed on pills or liquids that are taken once or twice daily. The frequency and number of pills (or liquids) varies depending on the person’s age as well as which medicines are determined to be most effective against his or her particular infection. Medicines that work well for one individual may not be effective for another. Your CHIP team will help you determine which medicines are best for you.
  • While it is common that someone may experience side effects to the medicines during the early days or weeks of treatment, most people are able to find a regimen that is well tolerated over the long term.


  • HIV medicines must be taken consistently to be effective. This consistency is known as adherence. Twice daily medicines are taken approximately every 12 hours and once daily meds are approximately every 24 hours. The more adherent someone is to the regimen to more effective the medicine will be at controlling HIV.
  • Inconsistently taking medicines can lead to the development of resistant HIV. This means that the medicine can become less effective at controlling the virus. Your team will work with you to develop strategies to be adherent to your treatment.


  • Laboratory tests are done at frequent intervals to monitor immune function, control of HIV infection and how the body is tolerating the medication regimens. It is common to expect to have blood drawn at least every 3 months. More frequent tests are to be expected at the beginning of HIV care and throughout care as issues arise.

Treatment Options

The Children’s Hospital Immunodeficiency Program is affiliated with the National Institutes of Health as a research site for the Pediatric AIDS Clinical Trials Group. This affiliation assures access to the newest investigational drugs and the most recent developments in the treatment of HIV disease in children, youth and pregnant women.

Children, youth and women are carefully evaluated for placement into treatment and protocol options. Whether or not they participate in research protocols, we strive to provide optimal treatment and support for them. We coordinate care with the adult research services to provide access to research protocols for parents and youth in our care.